Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Your Rights Online

ISPs Inserting Ads Into Your Pages 434

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-thats-just-slimey dept.
TheWoozle writes "Some ISPs are resorting to a new tactic to increase revenue: inserting advertisements into web pages requested by their end users. They use a transparent web proxy (such as this one) to insert javascript and/or HTML with the ads into pages returned to users. Neither the content providers nor the end-users have been notified that this is taking place, and I'm sure that they weren't asked for permission either."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

ISPs Inserting Ads Into Your Pages

Comments Filter:
  • Suprise! (Score:5, Funny)

    by dotHectate (975458) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @09:23AM (#19619207) Journal
    It's not like we pay them for our internet access or anything.

    Oh wait, we do... crap.
    • It's not like we pay them for our internet access or anything.
      ...or that we pay to see the show at the movie theater. I know, not exactly the same thing, but tv advertisements on the big screen are becoming quite annoying as well.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Hognoxious (631665)
        Unless it's pa par pa par pa par pa par papapar pa par pa par pa par ... PAH! [youtube.com] That never gets old.
      • by dewke (44893)
        Yeah the ads at the movie theatre *are* annoying, but they can be avoided if you show up closer to the show time, and it's not like they interrupt the movie to run an ad. At least they haven't started to do that yet.

        And hey greg, long time!
    • Re:Suprise! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Qzukk (229616) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @09:29AM (#19619249) Journal
      I thought my ISP was doing this but when I called to complain the helpful tech support person told me that the sites I was visiting must have added new ads to them, since they would never do such a thing. Thanks for reassuring me, John!

      So, slashdot, why are you running 50 ads at the top of every page? I thought when I subscribed I wouldn't have to see these anymore, but since you don't have a friendly guy I can call to talk to about it, I'll have to assume you're trying to screw me over here.
      • by Megane (129182)

        I thought when I subscribed I wouldn't have to see these anymore, but since you don't have a friendly guy I can call to talk to about it, I'll have to assume you're trying to screw me over here.

        Or maybe, as shown by the lack of "*" or whatever by your user name, maybe your subscription expired?

      • So, slashdot, why are you running 50 ads at the top of every page?

        What ads? I don't see any. That's what Adblock is for.
    • Re:Suprise! (Score:5, Funny)

      by pipatron (966506) <pipatron@gmail.com> on Saturday June 23, 2007 @09:46AM (#19619357) Homepage
      Don't worry! Your Free Market(tm) will take care of this! You can always chose not to have internet, or lay your own fiber! Completely realistic options. It's not my fault you can't afford that. You should have started an ISP just like everyone else!
      • and I am not joking. Since it is often said that we should not worry about net neutrality issues at all and that "free market" and competition will take care of any issues.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by sumdumass (711423)
          I know the point you guys are trying to make but your doing it poorly. The Internet and Internet access isn't a free market. Making it so only places anyone attempting to compete at a disadvantage.

          Internet service and network service providers for the Internet have for the long time been a protected monopoly. Sure there was dial up service that anyone could start, but that was the only last mile option they had for the longest of time.

          Now, to understand the net neutrality correctly, what the service provide
      • Just wait until the lawsuits start pouring in from content providers, you'll see how this free market works...
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by enrevanche (953125)
          Actually the free market is alive and well, the supply of lawyers has never been better.
  • by throup (325558) <chris@ t h r o u p.org.uk> on Saturday June 23, 2007 @09:27AM (#19619229) Homepage
    I know this won't be everyone's primary concern, but what happens to all of those pages carefully crafted to adhere to a specific standard eg HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.1 or whatever else you may choose? Surely, unless these uninvited contributions also adhere to that specific standard, we have no hope of producing standards-compliant documents.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dascandy (869781)
      Turn that around and you could sue them for "destruction of property" for wrecking your pages, "violation of contract" for not giving you webhosting or something similar.
    • by Jamu (852752) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @10:31AM (#19619619)
      I had that with my old ISP (Virgin.net). I wrote a simple webpage in HTML 4.01, checked it was valid with W3C's Markup Validation Service, and then uploaded it. When I checked it there was script just after the html element but before the head. Not what I wanted to see on a page that not only asserted I knew something about writing HTML, but also had the W3C validation link at the bottom.

      <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
      <html><s cript src="http://www.virgin.net/js/random_ad.js" language="javascript"></script>
      <!-- Document is valid. However, Virgin.net inserts a <script> element here -->
      <head>
      <...
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Bogtha (906264)

        When I checked it there was script just after the html element but before the head.

        The problem was not the placement of the <script> element. While the <head> element is mandatory in HTML 4.01, its opening and closing tags are optional. All you had to do was delete your opening <head> tag. Everything after the opening <html> tag but before your closing </head> tag would be assumed to be in the <head> element.

        The real problem was that they didn't specify

    • by Ant P. (974313) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @10:57AM (#19619833) Homepage
      I found something funny with using XHTML 1.1. Certain free hosting sites are totally oblivious to its existence, so if you rename all your pages to *.xhtml their injected ads magically disappear.
    • unless these uninvited contributions also adhere to that specific standard, we have no hope of producing standards-compliant documents.

      Don't worry about it. I'm sure that the pages will render perfectly in Internet Explorer.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by suv4x4 (956391)
      I know this won't be everyone's primary concern, but what happens to all of those pages carefully crafted to adhere to a specific standard eg HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.1 or whatever else you may choose? Surely, unless these uninvited contributions also adhere to that specific standard, we have no hope of producing standards-compliant documents.

      If I pour a lethal dose of highly radioactive material over you, you'll sue me since the green skin glow doesn't match your clothes, wouldn't you.
  • On the one hand... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by niceone (992278) * on Saturday June 23, 2007 @09:30AM (#19619251) Journal
    On the one hand I'd be really annoyed* if my ISP did this to me, on the other hand maybe there are some people who wold prefer ads and a cheaper monthly fee?

    And on the third hand... isn't this going to break a whole bunch of websites? I'm having a hard time imagining how they could do it without major side effects.

    (* I'd be wanting to stuff a few ads up their HTTP stream, I can tell you)
    • by Dutch_Cap (532453) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @09:38AM (#19619303)

      And on the third hand... isn't this going to break a whole bunch of websites? I'm having a hard time imagining how they could do it without major side effects.

      Don't worry, I'm sure it's been thoroughly tested with Internet Explorer.

      • by Fred_A (10934)

        Don't worry, I'm sure it's been thoroughly tested with Internet Explorer.
        Typical of them to ignore the Web savvy users running Netscape 4. Bastards.
    • by bruns (75399) <bruns@@@2mbit...com> on Saturday June 23, 2007 @10:13AM (#19619483) Homepage
      From my experience (I've worked at and built enough ISPs) that even if they find a way to potentially reduce the customers cost per month (ie: through ads), they won't pass the savings to the customer - ever.

      Why? Profit. It's a great motive.
    • on the other hand maybe there are some people who wold prefer ads and a cheaper monthly fee?

      Back in days of yore when I was with Rogers, they did exactly that. You would get a certain amount of webspace, and they would stick banner ads on your site. If you wanted no ads, you paid extra. Of course, when I originally started with them (due to them annexing my previous cable provider) there were no banner ads, bandwidth was cheaper, and I could run my own servers. I'm not with Rogers anymore.
  • by wtanaka (13113) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @09:32AM (#19619269) Homepage Journal
    http://wtanaka.com/node/62 [wtanaka.com]

    It was especially annoying when the ad insertion code didn't quite work right and caused web pages to break.
  • by Saint Aardvark (159009) * on Saturday June 23, 2007 @09:32AM (#19619273) Homepage Journal

    When I worked at the helpdesk of a small ISP [dowco.com], we were approached by this company [adzilla.com] to see if we were interested in letting them test their ad-inserting proxy server on our customers. I protested that it was scummy and might lead to legal trouble (I was guessing) over changing pages in-flight, but my bosses didn't listen. That was back in 2002 or 2003, and I left shortly after to take another job. No idea what's going on there now.

    I'm moving to a new ISP [uniserve.com] since my current one [www.shaw.ca] has started blocking port 25 in and out. I run my own mail server, so I appreciate that Uniserve's TOS [uniserve.com] explicitly allow servers (clause #19). However, they also explicitly say that they insert ads:

    65. UNISERVE shall have the right, without notice, to insert advertising data into the Internet browser used by a UNSERVE customer, and transferred to a UNISERVE customer over UNISERVE's network, so long as this does not involve UNISERVE establishing the identity of the customer to whom such data is sent.

    Needless to say I'm not happy about that, but in Vancouver my choices are limited: Telus (who'll censor web pages [thetyee.ca] if they belong to a union striking against them), Shaw, or a handful of small ADSL ISPs that all seem to be much the same. Uniserve seems the best of a bad bunch.

    • by Lumpy (12016)
      You got lots of choices.

      Privoxy for one. It eliminate all Ad's that you do not like. I filter everything from doubleclick and it speed up webpage loads by 60%.

      IF they want to start playing nasty, it's time to claim back your internet. Strip all the advertising you do not agree with. I get the think geek and other ad's here on slashdot, I dont get the Microsoft FUD campaign Ad's or any of the flash ad's as well.

      Get and install PRivoxy, it works great.
    • However, they also explicitly say that they insert ads:

      As a content provider, I didn't give them any licence to create derivative works. Creating versions of my pages with ads, is clearly creation of a derivative work.

      But of course, it's much more important for copyright law to prevent me from copying a CD for a friend, then to prevent some large ISP from violating my moral rights [wikipedia.org] by whoring out my content.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Thing 1 (178996)
      Can they insert ads into an https stream? Let's everyone just start using that protocol.
  • Belkin sucks! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Werrismys (764601) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @09:35AM (#19619289)
    One belkin ADSL modem actually did this. Every couple of days or couple of thousand port 80 request it displayed their ad instead.

    They later issued a new firmware that disabled this. But not before I had issued them a "fuck off" feedback. I have never bought another belkin product since and I strongly urge no-one else to do so either. Fuck them.

  • Opt Out Link (Score:5, Informative)

    by cybermage (112274) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @09:39AM (#19619311) Homepage Journal
    The company that runs the box the ISP installed provides an opt-out option. Go to this page [nebuad.com] and click opt-out.

    I think their behavior with this product is reprehensible. Pass the link on to anyone you know who is affected and encourage them to call their ISP and complain every day until it's removed. If all their call center does is get complaints, they'll reconsider whether it's making them any money.
  • There needs to be a new column in all those ISP comparison charts ... so we get to see who the clean ISPs are.

    Hit them where it hurts: right where people are deciding which ISP to go with.
    • by Anon E. Muss (808473) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @09:52AM (#19619387)

      Hit them where it hurts: right where people are deciding which ISP to go with.

      That only works if there is actual competition. In most large cities, customers have only two choices. They can go with cable modem service from Some Big Cable Company or DSL service from Some Big Telecom Company. Both usually suck. People living in smaller communities often have no choice at all.

      • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Saturday June 23, 2007 @10:35AM (#19619649) Homepage
        Ah, one way in which competition is better in the UK. You can be broadband off a cable company (if you subscribe) or over the British Telecom 'phone lines - in which case you have dozens of ISPs to choose from.

        I may not often agree with Gordon Brown: but him objecting to Sarkozy's attempt to remove 'competition' as a basic tenet of the EU was 100% correct. Protectionism, in the long term, hurts all consumers.

      • by mikeraz (12065)

        "In most large cities, customers have only two choices. They can go with cable modem service from Some Big Cable Company or DSL service from Some Big Telecom Company."

        Those are the two providers of physical access to your premis. Smaller ISPs have worked over that moat for years. Portland, Ore. is not that large a city. We have a dozen ISPs I can name off the top of my head. All provide service over DSL lines that go through Qwest or Verizon (depending on your location) physical infrastructure.

        Ch

      • by Panaqqa (927615) *
        Well, sometimes there is an alternative, but not a great one. Where I live, there is no xDSL (we're >4 miles from the CO) and no cable TV. So I get my high speed Internet via satellite (Xplornet) - and so far after one year the service is quite good. I do have to put up with them filtering port 25, but I don't care too much about that since I just run exim on ports 2525 and 587 on my VPS hosts. I get 2Mbps - and the only REAL drag is the ~550ms speed-of-light latency. They use IP spoofing which speeds up
  • I wonder if one could sue an ISP to recover costs associated with,
    1. Support as a hosting provider to customers wondering why there's ads on their pages
    2. Support as a website subscription provider to visitors who pay a subscription fee to have ads removed
  • Data corruption (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gilesjuk (604902) <giles@jones.zen@co@uk> on Saturday June 23, 2007 @09:42AM (#19619327)
    This is one angle to pursue, you have requested a page and the page you receive has been altered by the proxy, therefore "corrupted" the data.

    If this continues then someone can write a plugin for Firefox to stop the adverts.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2007 @09:43AM (#19619331)
    Back at the start of the net, many people started to build their own little networks (e.g. the "freenets", which existed long before freenet) and make connections with their neighbours. This activity was wiped out when ISPs started providing service at less than cost in order to build their business, making freenets not worth the investment. Now we are back at the stage where ISPs are trying to make money and messing up the service. It's time to restart building those networks and move off the commercial ISPs. Does anybody know any good places to start this? I'm ready to interconnect with my neighbours. How do we arrange sensible cheap long distance interconnectivity?

    What about freenetworks.org [freenetworks.org]? Are Wifi Coops [wificoop.org] any good? Any others?
    • by Thing 1 (178996)

      Cory Doctorow [wikipedia.org] wrote an okay book (most of his writing is great; this one seemed to drag, although has some neat devices, like the use of any arbitrary name as long as it started with the same letter to describe each character), Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town [wikipedia.org].

      In fact, wikipedia summarizes it quite nicely, so here's the relevant part:

      Alan befriends Kurt, a thirtysomething punk who operates a dumpster-diving operation. Kurt uses computer components that he retrieves from the trash and turns the

    • As a heavy Bulletin Board programmer/user in the mid 80's, I can tell you that one of the answers was something called Fido Net. This was a network of computers linked by phone lines. In the early morning hours of each day, each "node" would telephone its local designated hub, and transfer message packets destined for some other computer. The hub would call *its* hub, and so forth. Data would be received the same way.

      But no matter how you slice it, "browsing" at 300 baud really sucks. Gives new meaning to "
  • Copyright Bonanza (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @09:43AM (#19619335) Homepage Journal
    The content in my pages is copyright implicitly, even if I don't register or even declare it in the pages. The right my ISP has to copy it is only for the purpose of publishing it in the transaction I have explicitly permitted: publishing it on URL requests.

    If my ISP copies it for any other purpose, like inserting ads, or copies it into (or as) some other context, like an ad page, it's violating my copyright.

    Every copyright violation - every page - makes them liable for a fine. That can really stack up, and costs a lot more than each page view generates in ad revenue.

    Unless I've signed away my copyright in some contract with the ISP. Which I personally haven't. Nor should you.

    If you have retained your copyright, and your ISP violates it, you should look forward to them handing over their business ownership to pay the damages. Email your lawyer from your other account and get the ball rolling. Why should corporate copyright holders have all the fun?
    • by kailoran (887304)
      Not that I don't like the idea of ISPs doing that getting sued to hell, but are you saying that all proxy servers are illegal?
      • I didn't get that from the OP's post ... but the question would seem to be whether inserting an ad would constitute a derivate work, and would (or would not) that be legal to do. I don't know, maybe there's an IP lawyer in the crowd today that could answer that.

        Presumably the ISPs involved have lawyers too, and would have researched this question. Still, U.S. copyright law has been used to beat up the consumer lately, so it would be nice to see it work in the consumer's favor.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by kailoran (887304)
          The right my ISP has to copy it is only for the purpose of publishing it in the transaction I have explicitly permitted: publishing it on URL requests.

          A proxy makes a copy for reasons other than publishing the content in the current transaction, so (nitpicking) it would mean it is ilegall.

          Anyway. I'm not sure if copyright should be the law preventing this, I'd much rather have it illegal under some sort of privacy or wiretapping law. I mean, UPS doesn't stick adverts inside mail, and what the ISP is do
          • by Doc Ruby (173196)

            Anyway. I'm not sure if copyright should be the law preventing this

            But copyright law does prohibit this abuse. It's up to you whether you take action under that law or not. You might take action under some other law prohibiting it. Or all the laws that do prohibit it.
            • by kailoran (887304)
              Yeah, but what about e.g. public domain stuff? I don't think it should be A-OK for my ISP to stuff ads into pages that I request, regardless of their copyright status.

              But obviously, if copyright law can hurt companis doing it, fire away. [I hope] They'll most likely sht it down entirely when/if the other option is paying damages or a lengthy court battle.
              • by Doc Ruby (173196)
                If your page contains any original content, even if what's original is just your composition of public domain content from more than a single source, you own the copyright on your original work.

                If all you're doing is passing through one public domain content set, then you don't control the copyright on it, so you can't control your ISP's copying. The only right you have might be to the URL requests, which isn't copyright at all. Only if your contract with your ISP specifies "noncircumvention" do you have th
                • by kailoran (887304)
                  You missed my point. I, as a user, dont give a damn about the copyrightness/PD-ness of the page I want. I just want it *as it is*, without added cruft. If I request a page I expect to get the exactly what the server, well, serves. ISPs messing with the insides of webpages should be illegal, period, at least in my book.
                  • by Doc Ruby (173196)
                    You missed the point I explained: if you are republishing only an unedited PD content set, then you do not have copyright control over it. Your control of the ISP rests exclusively in your contract with them for service. Which contract could also sign away your copyright control.

                    It doesn't matter whether or not you give a damn about a copyright you do not control. Only whether you have it and use it, or don't and can use something else. Which I also explained in my OP.
          • Anyway. I'm not sure if copyright should be the law preventing this, I'd much rather have it illegal under some sort of privacy or wiretapping law. I mean, UPS doesn't stick adverts inside mail, and what the ISP is doing is pretty much equivalnt to slapping an advert on the second page of a book they deliver.

            You know you're probably right about that. Any way you slice it, this practice is abominable. I hate to quote him (I couldn't stand the man) but Jack Valenti once said something that was actually tru
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Courageous (228506)
            A proxy makes a copy for reasons other than publishing the content in the current transaction, so (nitpicking) it would mean it is illegal.

            Nitpicking, anything between the end user and you is a system of relays. The law already has provisions for this, going back things like radio, where the transmissions have to be rebroadcast over many hops.

            The "unlicensed derivative work" angle is interesting; I could see how that argument, if made, could get traction in a court.

            C//
        • by Doc Ruby (173196)
          ISPs go on the principle that they can do anything until made to stop, regardless of rights. Their lawyers, if asked (rarely), usually advise that it's still the "Wild West" on the Internet, and then state the risks in such a way that the ISP directors decide to take it, if there's any money in it.

          I ran an ISP for several years, and still deal with the CEOs and admins of several. They're not inclined to let lawyers constrain their bizmodel, and courts have not changed their minds much.
          • Well, they got their training wheels from the old Bell System, which operated along similar lines. Given that there is current no penalty being applied to such bad behavior (other than people "voting with their feet") said attorneys are earning their paychecks. Like it or not, lawyers aren't there to serve as a corporate conscience, they're there to advise the people who are supposed have a reasonable set of scruples. That their masters are just as soulless as they are is not the attorneys fault.

            I suppos
      • by Doc Ruby (173196)
        Proxy servers make copies as part of the publishing transaction.

        This is not an atomic database transaction that happens immediately. It's a real world transaction, that can be ongoing and open-ended in time, like, say, an autorenwed newspaper delivery subscription. You agree to let the ISP copy your content to publish it. That includes proxies caching it for more efficient distribution after the initial request. The HTTP protocol includes "opt-out", in "NOPROXY" headers, so pages without them are implicitly
    • by IdahoEv (195056) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @10:25AM (#19619561) Homepage
      It would seem pretty straightforward to document uses of your website to sell ads, so that you could sue ISPs for copyright violation. This seems pretty straightforward to me.

      1) Generate a unique id for every webpage transmitted. php's uniq() function would be fine. Embed it in the page.
      2) Generate a checksum before transmitting the page. Save the id and the checksum, perhaps in a mysql database, when transmitting the page.
      3) Embed a javascript that can compute the checksum of the document at the user's end. Have it transmit the checksum back to the server.
      4) If the checksum doesn't match, have the javascript transmit the content of the page and it's headers, and perhaps even a traceroute, back to the server.
      5) Server stores all of the above in a "pages corrupted in transmission" log.

      Log analysis should then give you a list of ISPs who have consistently corrupted your pages, details on what they inserted, and documented # of violations with date and time. You can take this documentation to the court and say "Look! Earthlink/Megapath/AT&T/Whoever has illegally copied my website to market their own advertisements 12,432 times in the last year!". Demand remuneration.

      6) Profit!
      7) Reduce ISP's willingness to fsck with other people's content and thereby make the world a better place.

      8) (Optionally) Have your own javascript strip their ad and/or put a banner at the top that notes "Your ISP has attempted to illegally insert their own advertising into our website, thereby making money off you and me without either of our permission. We strongly suggest you switch internet service providers." -- try to get user pressure on the ISP.

      I'm about to head out on a 10-day vacation. When I get back, if one of y'all hasn't written this yet I'll start on it myself.

  • by Anon E. Muss (808473) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @09:44AM (#19619343)
    The customers of these asshole ISP's may not be able to stop them, but web site owners might. HTML code is frequently copyrighted. Injecting Javascript into a web page creates an unauthorized derivative work. Some webmaster needs to start sending DMCA takedown notices to ISP's using these ad injection proxies.
    • by vtcodger (957785)
      ***Injecting Javascript into a web page creates an unauthorized derivative work.***

      So does injecting HTML. Fair use allows some exceptions. For example, if the ISP needed to tinker with your headers or page to get around problems with upstream routers, that might be OK.

      I'm not (thank God) an IP lawyer but intuitively, it doesn't seem that pasting advertising into someone else's creative work without permission would be fair use.

  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @09:46AM (#19619353)
    So if you mom is suddenly very excited on the phone about the latest washing powder or insists that you shave only with 5-blade Gillette for best results, you should know better.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @09:49AM (#19619369) Homepage
    These ISPs are modifying the content of another source. They alter the format or content or appearance of the requested data or information. Potentially, they endanger the quality of the service being provided on the other end. This is an offense against net neutrality.

    Content providers who earn income from their own web activity should be among the first to file suit against these ISPs. I imagine network TV companies would be VERY offended if advertisments were inserted over, in or around their own presented material and web based business should be expected to have the same offense taken.
  • Smells to me... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kjella (173770) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @09:57AM (#19619411) Homepage
    ...like a copyright infringment. The ISP takes the work, creates a derivate, then distributes that derivate to you. Clearly the page is distributed as a whole even though it's made up of parts, you'd certainly relate porn ads to a company if they appeared on that company's webpage which means it's absolutely not its own work. It's like a book club embedding ad pages in the books before shipping them to members.

    Distribution is an exclusive right of the copyright holder.
    That they change the content means all paragraph 512 limitations are out the window.
    The fair use test (commercial, creative work, almost whole work (all the non-ad content), kills ad revenue) is a 0-4 slam dunk against.

    So tell me exactly, what's protecting the ISP from an "allofmp3" style lawsuit for a few trillion, since every web page is a $150,000 lawsuit in itself? Whoever in the legal department who approved this should be terrified.
  • Go Somewhere Else? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Joel Rowbottom (89350) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @10:03AM (#19619435) Homepage
    Ok, mod me down for this if you will, but why not just vote with your feet and go to a different ISP?

    In these days of webmail and portable email addresses/domain names, why don't more people do this? It's still a buyer's market, and there's still lots of mom-and-pop ISPs who'll be glad of your business.

    All the talk of 'taking legal action' smacks to me as being what's typically wrong with the entire attitude of everyone today. Compensation culture and all that - where there's blame there's a claim.
    • Because there's been so much consolidation in the industry that there is no way for the bulk of users to "vote with their feet". Well, I suppose they could by packing up all their stuff into a big truck and moving somewhere else with a better ISP. That's not really practical for most people though.

      The FCC is a big part of this: they need to stop trying to "manage competition". They aren't very good at it. I'm fortunate that I live (for now) in a area with multiple providers (for now.) I currently have th
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      >>Ok, mod me down for this if you will, but why not just vote with your feet and go to a different ISP?
      Not always feasible - for one thing, many many areas have a limited number of ISPs available in their area - some rural regions may only have access to one broadband provider. Also, big companies only understand one type of complaint, and that's litigious type of complaint. If everyone moves to the only other ISP in town, this *other* ISP will destroy the first, and then immediately start putting
  • by GFree (853379) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @10:09AM (#19619463)
    Exercise your GOD-GIVEN RIGHT to stop using the offending ISP take your business elsewhere and.

    Failing that, exercise your GOD-GIVEN RIGHT to walk into the ISP's main offices with an automatic shotgun.

    I figure that either way, you're not gonna be using that ISP any longer.
  • Fair play. (Score:3, Funny)

    by OgGreeb (35588) <og@digimark.net> on Saturday June 23, 2007 @10:15AM (#19619487) Homepage
    We should start sending multi-page advertisements with our ISP payments embedded in the middle, to monetize the untapped revenue stream available when the ISPs want to get paid.

  • The assumption of the ISP is that the ads are rated "G".
    Simply buy ads from their service that will offend all their
    users.

    The amazing health and psychological benefits of abortion
    ought to do it. And at the bottom: This ad brought to you
    by your friendly neighborhood ISP.

  • Ads == harassment (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tom (822) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @10:36AM (#19619657) Homepage Journal
    Some time soon, we will cross the line where my opinion becomes a majority opinion: That any and all unasked for advertisement is harassment and should carry criminal penalties accordingly. Double the punishment if it masquerades as something else (i.e. fake grassroots campaigns, product placement, etc.)

    Alternatively, lift all restrictions on advertisement. Then we'd at least have nude girls and hardcore porn on every wall and window, instead of beer and washing powder.
  • Use a proxy... (Score:2, Informative)

    by skeftomai (1057866)
    Why not just run your internet through your own proxy and remove the ads? Sure, it may be a bit slower, but surely it could be done with something like Privoxy [privoxy.org] on top of Squid [squid-cache.org].

No user-servicable parts inside. Refer to qualified service personnel.

Working...